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  "A room without books is like a body without a soul."  ~ Cicero

  John Jay/Science and Engineering Academy
 Pre-AP/AP Summer Reading List for 2014-2015

Dear John Jay and Science Academy students and parents:

Please prepare for your English Pre-AP/AP course for next year (2014-2015) by obtaining and reading the designated summer reading. You should read the assigned text and complete the project before the class begins; Pre-AP or AP students should prepare for early coverage and activities, which will include assessments.

English Pre-AP students should have the following required texts:


English I Pre-AP: Swallowing Stones by Joyce McDonald

Incoming freshmen need to complete their summer reading of Swallowing Stones. To download the assignment, click here.


English II Pre-AP: The Pearl by John Steinbeck

You will be required to read The Pearl by John Steinbeck and complete the to download the assignment, click here.

NOTE: The first six weeks of this class will focus on the events and elements of this novel. It is imperative you read and understand the text and complete this assignment.



English III AP: Choose only one of the following five novels. (Any version is acceptable.)
    • Life of Pi by Yann Martel
    • Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston
    • A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
    • A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams
    • Moby Dick by Herman Melville

You will read one of the five novels listed above and complete the analytical assignment. To download the PDF version of your assignment, click here.

NOTE: The first six weeks of this class will focus on the events and elements of this novel. It is imperative you read and understand the text and complete this assignment.



English IV AP: How to Read Literature Like a Professor by Thomas C. Foster

Seniors need to have read and complete the assignment. To download the assignment, click here.



Have a great summer and a great upcoming year at John Jay!

Margaret Boozer
English Department Coordinator


Dialectical Notebook Entries

Dialectical notes are a form of dialogue between ourselves and a piece of literature.  In them, we note particular passages or events occurring in the piece and comment thoughtfully on them, therefore learning more about the literature.

ASSIGNMENT:  All responses must be in complete sentences and each entry should take at least ONE page to complete.  Your dialectical notes should address all of the following components:

• Summary — Write a brief summary about what is happening in the scene where you extracted the quote. Make sure to establish context and demonstrate knowledge of events throughout the novel.

• Connection— Make a connection to the world outside of the novel.  Connect the quote with a historical or current event or to a novel or movie you are familiar with.  This is known as an allusion. You may only use any particular event, novel, movie, etc. twice.

• Analysis — Reveal and explain the purpose of a literary tool or device that the author has used in your selected quotation.  For example show how the author uses imagery, tone, personification, conflict, symbolism, metaphors and similes (imagery), diction, sound devices, etc. and the devices impact or relevance to the text. You can find a list of AP literary terms on my Web page under “Handouts & Documents”. You may only use any particular literary device once.

 • Evaluation — Answer the questions: what is the author’s purpose; what is the author trying to convey?  This is also known as the abstract idea. Refer to your connection and analysis to help you determine the author’s purpose and explain whether the author was effective.

Structural Note:  With each entry be sure to include the page number where your “text inspiration” may be found.  Also, bullet each of the four entry components for clarity and ease in grading.

Example:  Based on “My Name” by Sandra Cisneros


Student Name
AP Language
Teacher Name

                                          Dialectical Notes for Novel Title




“I would like to baptize myself under a new name, a name more like the real me, the one nobody sees.”

(Chapter 4, page 11)
  • Summary – Esperanza does not like her given name. From other events in chapter, we know that she thinks her name is ugly and envies the names of others. She feels like her name binds her to a certain future and wants to choose a name of her own.
  • Connection – I would connect this to Flannery O’Connor’s short story “Good Country People”. The main character, Joy, changes her name to Hulga so that her outside matches her inside.  It parallels Cisneros’ ideas as well as the humor.  This piece would work well as a paired reading with “Good Country People”.
  • Analysis – Cisneros uses the religious imagery of baptism to convey the significance of such a name change.  Esperanza wants to wash herself clean of the baggage attached to her name and begin her life anew with a name free of the sins of her ancestors, just as the act of baptism washes one free from sins toward God and man.
  • Evaluation – I appreciate that the narrator, at such a young age, realizes that the names we are given can be very different from the names we choose.  I think Esperanza is a deep thinker and mature for her age due to this observation.


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